RFK and Morris Abram

Morris Abram: The Man Who Unmasked the KKK and Helped Establish “One Person, One Vote”

by Cecily Abram Those who remember Morris Berthold Abram may recall his tenure as president of Brandeis University during the tumultuous years of 1968-1970. Yet many of his accomplishments during the time of the Civil Rights Movement that preceded his presidency are not widely known. Throughout his life, Morris became the trusted adviser to five U.S. presidents—both Democratic and Republican—each seeing in him his dedication to justice and the rule of law, his commitment to civil rights and human rights and his deep interest in Jewish causes. His proudest legal accomplishments include the establishment of the historic principle “one person, one vote” and the laws that led to the unmasking of the Ku Klux Klan. Born in 1918, Morris spent his first 16 years in rural South Georgia. Founded in 1896, Fitzgerald was a colony city for aging Union veterans...

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Argentinian Israeli Mutual Association explosion aftermath

An Argentine Journalist on Fallout from Prosecutor’s Mysterious Death

The plot unfolded like a murder mystery. First, on January 18, Argentine state prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead from a gunshot wound. The timing was uncanny: Nisman had just written a 289-page report accusing President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her foreign minister of covering up a deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center. He had been planning to deliver the testimony the following day. Initially, the death was chalked up to suicide. But a few days later, the president said she believed Nisman had been murdered as part of a plot to discredit her. And this week, it came out that a draft of a request for Kirchner's arrest was found in Nisman's house. To understand the context and ramifications of these dramatic events, Moment spoke with Javier Sinay, an Argentinian journalist who writes  for Rolling Stone...

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Shmuel Rosner on Upcoming Israel Elections

Israel’s election season heated up this week as political parties rushed to submit their final list of candidates. Much is at stake: This time, unlike the elections of 2013, we don’t know who’s going to win. We ask Moment columnist Shmuel Rosner to outline a few possible scenarios and predict whether an ouster of Prime Minister Netanyahu is a real possibility. Q. How are these elections different about the ones in 2013? A. First of all, it’s an open election. We don’t know who’s going to win. Two years ago it was almost impossible for anyone to usurp Netanyahu and become prime minister. So the whole point of the election last cycle was to determine the kind of coalition Netanyahu was going to establish. This time it is not about the nature of the next Netanyahu coalition. It is about the question...

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God, Faith and Identity from the Ashes

A Third-Generation Remembrance of Holocaust’s Horrors

Today, on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the horrors of the Holocaust loom large in the world’s collective memory. But for those who were personally affected, those horrors have never left. Born in the Displaced Persons camp of Bergen-Belsen, the son of two survivors of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, law professor Menachem Rosensaft has devoted his life to the keeping the legacy of Holocaust survivors and their descendants alive. Rosensaft has been curating these voices since 1965, when he edited a magazine of essays, poems and short stories by the children of Holocaust survivors known as the Bergen-Belsen Youth Magazine. Today, he teaches classes on the law of genocide at the law schools of Columbia and Cornell Universities. His newest project is the just-published book God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and...

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Graphic Details edited by Sarah Lightman

The Last Laugh: “Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews” Reviewed

by Andrea Greenbaum In 1996, I spent a year in smoky comedy clubs in Tampa, Florida to document the rhetorical style of standup comedians. I paid close attention to their narratives, their body language, and then, after their sets, interviewed them about their craft—how they integrated writing and speaking in a public space. I discovered that women standup comedians used different strategies to win over their audiences, because humor has always situated itself in the realm of the masculine, and women must overcome the social taboo of speaking with authority in a public forum. My research, published in American Studies, “Women’s Comic Voices: The Art and Craft of Female Humor,” concluded that there are two themes that play throughout women’s standup performances: 1) They use the feminine body as a site of discourse and 2) they establish uniquely...

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Joachim Prinz and Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jews in the Civil Rights Movement

This weekend we honor civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr, who helped pave the way for a new era of racial integration in America. But he didn’t do it alone. In honor of MLK Day weekend, enjoy a sampling of our past year of special coverage on Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, online and in print. When Freedom Summer Came to Town In July/August, Marc Fisher of The Washington Post brought us on a journey back to Hattiesburg, Mississippi in the year of 1964. During that long, hot summer, the Jews of Hattiesburg met their northern cousins on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement—and the two didn’t always get along. Civil Rights Act Turns 50 Reader David Goldstick recalls his experience defending the Freedom Riders as a young attorney just after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Reader...

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Charlie Hebdo Je Suis Charlie

Rising Anti-Semitism and the Charlie Hebdo Massacre  

For the French-Jewish community, last week's attacks were a confirmation of their worst fears. After a year of rising anti-Jewish violence—attacks on Jewish families, synagogue firebombings, anti-Semitic marches—Jews are now fleeing Paris in record numbers, according to news reports. French authorities have acknowledged the severity of the situation, deploying thousands of police officers to protect Jewish schools and other “sensitive sites.” But is anti-Semitism really the main problem? We asked Michel Gurfinkiel, founder and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think tank, and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at Middle East Forum.—Rachel E. Gross When it comes to last week's attacks, how much are people in France focusing on the role of anti-Semitism? The events of last week were of gigantic proportion, politically. But what was important was not that it was an anti-Jewish massacre, but that it was a massacre at the...

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Filled, Broken and Complete: Sacred Vessels at Mayyim Hayyim

This month, the Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Paula Brody & Family Education Center in Newton, MA is showcasing an exhibit of intricate mosaics and sacred vessels infused with meaning. Watch a slideshow of the exhibit “Vessels: Containing Possibilities” and read the stories behind the works, created by artists Steven Branfman and Bette Ann Libby. Text by Donna Leventhal.

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DC Councilmember Brianne nadeue

8 Questions for DC Councilmember Brianne Nadeau

Washington, D.C.’s new Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is a rising leader who has been active in civic and religious life in the District of Columbia. Moment’s Miriam Edelman talks to her about how her Jewish upbringing and background helped shape her career. Q: Were you involved in the Jewish community when you were growing up? A: I come from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, which has a very small Jewish community. My family was involved with the Grosse Pointe Jewish Council. I went to Hebrew school, but we didn't have our own synagogue. We came together for high holidays and occasionally for Shabbat. But it was something that I was really always drawn to. I loved that sense of community, and that's what eventually led me to seek it out as an adult. Judaism provided a context for...

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